The Road To Feast Of Blades: An Opening Salvo

August 16, 2013 by crew

In the last few segments we've covered the news that a friend and I will be bringing a combined force of Tau and Orks to the Feast of Blades Doubles Tournament this year. Last week I went into detail about the reasoning behind this odd couple match-up and how I envision it will work. But enough chit chat: ON TO THE LISTS!!!

Ork Warboss

Tau Empire

Crisis Commander: Fusion blaster, Fusion blaster, Iridium Armor, Neuralweb System Jammer, Target Lock, Drone Controller, 2xMarker Drones

2xCrisis Shas'Ui: Fusion Blaster, Plasma Rifle

6xFirewarriors: Pulse Rifles
6xFirewarriors: Pulse Rifles

Heavy Support
2xHammerhead: Rail Gun, Sub-munitions, Smart Missiles

Fast Attack
3x Piranha: Fusion Blaster
9x Pathfinders: Markerlight/Pulse Carbine

Aegis Defense Line + Quad-gun


Big Mek: Kustom Force Field

30xBoyz, 3x Rokkit Launcha's, Nob with Powa Klaw and Boss Pole
30xBoyz, 3x Rokkit Launcha's , Nob with Powa Klaw and Boss Pole
Deff Dread, 3x Dread CCW's, Big Shoota

Heavy Support
2x Deff Dread, 3x Dread CCW's, Big Shoota

As you can see, the Tau are bringing the big guns while the Orks will provide the bodies and the Close Combat capabilities. Instead of going into deeper analysis let's just skip right to our first play test. Here's what our opponents brought:

Space Marines


2xTactical Squads

Stern Guard: Combi- Melta and Combi-Flamers
2x Drop Pods

Blood Angels

Librarian: Jump pack

Assault Marines: Jump pack
Assault Marines
2x Drop Pods

Sternguard: Combi- Melta and Combi-Flamers

Board set up: Vanguard Strike, Big Guns Never Tire

Board Set UpDeployment and Tau/Orks Turn One

We deployed in the lower right side of the board, with my Firewarrior manning the Quad-Gun and taking up residence in the large ruins which contained one of the objectives. The Pathfinders took the top floor where they had a clear view of the entire board and could put their marker lights to good use. The Piranhas spread out in front of the ruins to give them cover and the Hammerheads took up position on the left flank with good line of sight. The Orks spread themselves out to fill in gaps to prevent a pod from coming down inside our “castle” with the Dreads providing cover for the boyz.

The Dakka Jet and the Crisis Team, which my Commander had attached himself to, would deep-strike in.

The Blood Angels Deployed a single small squad of Assault Marines with jump packs on the board with a Librarian out of LoS. Everything else would be coming in on drop pods. (Hooray?) Since Tau and Orks had first turn we simply adjusted our spacing slightly while the vehicles “wiggled” flat-out for the best possible cover save.


Tau & Orks Deployment

SM/BA Turn One

Our castle wasn’t done as well as it could have been and the drop pods found chinks in our armor large enough to nestle their drop pods next to. Sternguard hit from the north and a Librarian and Tactical Combat Squad hit from the west. The other Librarian and his Assault Marines hustled to join their brethren but were too far away to be a concern.

What came next is what we called “THE BURNINATION”. Twelve flamers engulfed the boyz while meltas slagged a Hammerhead and a Piranha. Nearly two thirds of the boyz were lost in this opening barrage.

Space Marine & Blood Angel Turn 1


Tau/Ork Turn Two

Rolled for reserves… and nothing; Looks like things weren’t bad enough for my Crisis team to intervene and the Dakka Jet hadn’t finished the inflight safety video yet. Damn red tape.

Now that we finally had something to shoot at we hit back with everything we had. The Orks requested a danger-close fire mission and the lone hammerhead responded by dropping a template directly on the squad with the Librarian; sadly it was ineffective. The Piranha’s turned their Fusion Blasters on the Stern guard and managed to kill one marine. The Orks did what they do best and a few (the happy few) launched themselves into the fray. Even at minimal strength Orks on the charge do impressive work. They wiped out the Sternguard, and managed to kill the Tactical Squad the Librarian was hiding in. Annoyingly the Librarian successfully fell back. The Dreads moved towards the hill in an attempt to secure the middle objective.

Tau & Ork Turn 2

SM/BA Turn Two

The rest of the humans dropped in and this is where things started to get a little crazy. First in a simply insane gamble the Drop Pod containing the assault squad dropped next to the table edge and the Tau Aegis line. While the Quad-gun claimed one marine in an interceptor shot, the rest of the assaults cut down the Fire Warriors in a brilliant display of accuracy and xenos armor failure.

Meanwhile Lysander and the squad he was grouped with landed near the objective and piled out daring the Ork walkers to assault them. The Librarian with the Jump Marines continued to maneuver to get into position.

Space Marine & Blood Angel Turn 2

Tau/Orks Turn Three

Now it was time for our reserves to come in! The Crisis Team landed on the edge of the conflict and obliterated the Librarian with the Assault Marines before they could ever make an impact on the game. The Hammerhead tried to pick off the encroaching marines but missed while the piranhas did their best to block the marines from getting to the objective. The remaining boyz for their part tried to help the Hammerhead but were unsuccessful at getting a charge in. The Dakka Jet roared in and began to pick off troops where ever it could.

And then the Dreads charged. Now Lysander is a pretty scary beast in Close Combat, but the Dreads with their AP2 attacks were uniquely suited to deal with him.

Tau & Ork Turn 3

SM/BA Turn 3

Despite the efforts of the few Fire Warriors and the Piranhas the Assault Marines were able to slip by and into the ruins wiping out the small squad of Fire Warriors still there. The last tactical squad was also finally successful at destroying the second hammerhead and then dove into cover in hopes of avoiding the looming Dakka jet. But not all went well for them as the Dreads were able to cut down Lysander and his squad and claimed the objective. Unfortunately the one Dread left standing was immobilized so the best he could was watch as the battle unfolded around him.

Space Marine & Blood Angel Turn 3

Drop Pods!

Tau/Orks Turn Four

With the Marines owning Line Breaker, First Blood, and a Warlord points we needed to get them off that objective fast!

The immobile Dread showed it still had some fight in it and picked off the final Librarian in a lucky shot. This allowed the Crisis team to rush forward, destroying two drop pods as they went. The Dakka Jet did its part as well and removed the Tactical squad cowering in the small ruins and removing them. Even the last Pathfinders got in on the action and resolved not to let the marines stand and fired their pulse carbines and did something few Tau will ever experience: They charged.

It was a completely fruitless effort as the Assault Marines easily swatted them aside, but it made for a heroic moment.

Tau & Ork Turn 4

SM/BA Turn Four

Alas our effort were for naught as one the remaining two drop pods was able to avenge the fallen librarian as it managed to snipe the immobile Dread from the center objective. This meant that even if we were able to remove the marines from the objective they were covering the best we could hope for was a tie. At this point all the Assault Marines had to do was hunker down and hope they got lucky and survived until the game ended…

Tau/Orks Turn Five

Yup, they got lucky. Despite our best efforts, somehow the marines were able to go to ground and avoid what little shooting we could bring to bear. The SM/BA didn’t even bother with a turn and we simply rolled a dice to see if the game would end… It did on a roll of one. It was an anti-climactic moment in a game that had filled with mad dashes, desperate combat, and lots of combi-flamers.

Tau/Orks: 2 (2x Warlord points)
SM/BA: 6 (1 Objective, First Blood, Line Breaker, Warlord)

Post-Game Wrap-Up

Phew that was quite a write up and an extremely intense game. Here are a few thoughts on what happened.

-The Ork portion of our list relies on cover saves. These are becoming easier and easier to negate in this edition of the game. Getting hit with twelve flamers before they could respond was devastating and nearly crippled them.

- Our castle technique was sloppy. The Hammerheads’ rail guns aren’t very useful against a list like this and we should have put them out in front to try and shield the boyz by putting more distance between the flamers and the Orks.

- The Crisis team brutalized everything it came across and if it had started on the board could have been more useful.

- Instead of aiming at the marines inside the pods the Quad-gun would have been better off trying to kill a drop pod and stealing away first blood. It wouldn’t have changed the outcome of this game but in a tighter game that one point swing could have made the difference.

For those of you who didn’t “TLDR” I would love to hear some of your thoughts. Is there a crucial mistake we made? Think you have a way to revolutionize our list(s)? Drop a comment below and let’s discuss.

Casey Roberts

Ork Warboss by jubjubjedi

If you would like to write an article for Beasts of War then contact me at [email protected]

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